It was a mixed bag for Republicans on Tuesday — but not in Virginia, where the GOP was swept completely out of power for the first time in over two decades.
“The Democratic Party won control of the Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday, giving the party total control of the Old Dominion’s state government for the first time since 1994,” The Hill reports. “Democratic candidates outpaced Republican incumbents and nominees in the three most populous regions of the state, picking up seats in Hampton Roads, Richmond and the surrounding suburbs, and the fast-growing Washington suburbs.”
In the Virginia Senate, Democrats have won at least 21 out of the 40 seats, wresting control of the chamber from the Republicans. The same story played out in the House of Delegates, where the Democrats now control at least 53 of the 100 seats, likewise flipping the chamber.
With a Democrat, embattled though he may be, in the Executive Mansion, the Democrats now have complete control of the state.
“Democrats had a significant fund-raising advantage in Tuesday’s races, while Republicans had hoped to hold on to suburban seats that have sent its lawmakers to Richmond for decades,” The New York Times reports. In a follow-up analysis, the Times notes that Virginia “is the only Southern state the president lost in 2016, and Republicans faced a series of difficult races in metropolitan districts.”
While the GOP has lost Virginia and appears to have narrowly lost the governorship in Kentucky — which would be a significant victory for Democrats though against a widely unpopular incumbent — the party has maintained Mississippi gubernatorial control.
Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeated Democratic state Attorney General Jim Hood in the contest for who would replace outgoing Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R). With both the Mississippi House and Senate in Republican control, the GOP has maintained its firm grip on the state.
Trump took to Twitter late Tuesday to celebrate Reeves’ big win in Mississippi. “Congratulations to [Tate Reeves] on winning Governor of the Great State of Mississippi,” he tweeted. “Our big Rally on Friday night moved the numbers from a tie to a big WIN. Great reaction under pressure Tate!”
Trump also made sure to point out that while incumbent Republican Gov. Matthew Bevin — described by NBC News as “one of the least popular governors in the country” — appears to have been edged out by Democrat Andy Beshear in Kentucky, the GOP enjoyed “a lot of winning” in the state.
“Won 5 out of 6 elections in Kentucky, including 5 great candidates that I spoke for and introduced last night,” Trump tweeted early Wednesday. “[Matt Bevin] picked up at least 15 points in last days, but perhaps not enough (Fake News will blame Trump!). Winning in Mississippi Governor race!”
“Our big Kentucky Rally on Monday night had a massive impact on all of the races,” Trump wrote in a follow-up tweet. “The increase in Governors race was at least 15 points, and maybe 20!” Backing up his claim about the surge for Bevin, Trump retweeted a post by Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, who wrote: “In Kentucky, the governor was down 17 points. President Trump helped lift the entire ticket, winning 5 of 6 statewide races so far!”